The arrogance continues. Joop Bollen wants to hide his activities as a state employee behind the façade of his private corporation, yet he demands the same deference as the highest state employee in South Dakota.

On August 21, 2014, Senator Larry Tidemann (R-7/Brookings), chairman of the Government Operations and Audit Committee, sent a letter inviting Bollen to attend GOAC's September 24 meeting. "This is not a subpoena," Senator Tidemann emphasized.

Since you were instrumental in the development of the EB-5 program in South Dakota, I believe a presentation by you of the chronology and details of the operation of the program would be beneficial to the Committee [Senator Larry Tidemann, letter to Joop Bollen, 2014.08.21].

For 18 days, Bollen remained silent. Then he had his lawyer and EB-5 confederate Jeffrey T. Sveen pen this response:

As you know, Mr. Bollen operates a private business, SDRC, Inc, which until recently administered the EB-5 Program in South Dakota. Due to the nature of the EB-5 Program, SDRC, Inc. is obligated to maintain appropriate confidentiality. SDRC, Inc. has previously provided information to government authorities when requested to do so. As the Committee is aware, an audit by the State of South Dakota has shown that all funds administered by SDRC, Inc., were properly applied.

The press has published many inaccurate and misleading articles about the EB-5 Program. Mr. Bollen does not desire to participate in the political and media frenzy which has surrounded the actions of NBP and GOED personnel. Therefore, Mr. Bollen respectfully declines your invitation to appear in front of GOAC. I understand the Committee has requested that former Governor Rounds and Governor Daugaard respond to written questions from the Committee. Please be advised that Mr. Bollen is open to the same approach to provide appropriate information to the Committee [Jeffrey T. Sveen, letter to Senator Larry Tidemann, 2014.09.08].

We need to break this down.

1. "Mr. Bollen operates a private business, SDRC, Inc,...." Bollen developed and administered the EB-5 program as a state employee from 2004 through 2009. Bollen was a state employee when he signed the January 2008 contract that shifted EB-5 to SDRC Inc.'s bailiwick and set the stage for exactly this kind of dodge of public scrutiny.

2. "Due to the nature of the EB-5 Program, SDRC, Inc. is obligated to maintain appropriate confidentiality." Who said GOAC would ask anything about confidential business matters? SDRC Inc. didn't exist until January 2008; why cannot Bollen answer the Legislature's questions about the development of EB-5 prior to SDRC Inc. and the state's side of interactions with SDRC Inc. after its formation?

3. "SDRC, Inc. has previously provided information to government authorities when requested to do so. As the Committee is aware, an audit by the State of South Dakota has shown that all funds administered by SDRC, Inc., were properly applied." It sounds like Sveen and Bollen are keenly sensitive to money questions that Senator Tidemann never asked in his invitation.

4. "The press has published many inaccurate and misleading articles about the EB-5 Program." Wait? Really? Like what? Joop, Jeff, call me. Help me clear up those inaccuracies. Or just come to committee and put those misleading articles to bed once and for all.

5. "Mr. Bollen does not desire to participate in the political and media frenzy...." Senator Tidemann is not inviting you to a political frenzy. He is inviting you to a hearing of a committee of the South Dakota State Legislature, to take questions from the elected representatives of the people who wrote your checks.

6. "...which has surrounded the actions of NBP and GOED personnel." Oh! Catch the blame shift! The "media frenzy" isn't about Joop Bollen and SDRC Inc. It's about people who worked for Northern Beef Packers and the Governor's Office of Economic Development! (I'm telling you, press Bollen, and he will turn on his former patrons with a vengeance to save his own skin.)

7. "Therefore, Mr. Bollen respectfully declines your invitation to appear in front of GOAC." Note that Bollen is not offering a legal reason for refusing a Legislative request to provide information about his activities as a state employee. The reason is purely personal. If I were a Legislative committee chairman, I would assert the superiority of the state's interest to Bollen's personal pettiness with a vengeance.

8. "I understand the Committee has requested that former Governor Rounds and Governor Daugaard respond to written questions from the Committee. Please be advised that Mr. Bollen is open to the same approach to provide appropriate information to the Committee." And finally, the ego trip. That deference you're showing the elected head of this state? I expect the same treatment. Kiss my ring, too, and I'll be "open" to answering your questions.

Bollen has dismissed other investigators with the same arrogance. Now, Senator Tidemann, Joop Bollen is flipping that bird at you and at all the people of South Dakota. Senator Tidemann, on behalf of the people of South Dakota, I say it's time to stop taking that bird. He has given you no good reason not to accept your invitation to explain his activities as a state employee and contractor whose checks your appropriations bills wrote. Senator Tidemann, issue that subpoena.